Pubdate: Mon, 20 Mar 2000
Source: Rockford Register Star (IL)
Copyright: 2000 Rockford Register Star
Address: 99 E. State St., Rockford, Il. 61104
Author:  M. Simon


I think John Howard hit the nail on the head when he talks about the
destruction caused by the '60s. (Feb. 27 guest column) He just misses the
point a little. Why did American institutions lose their credibility in the
60s? Apartheid. Racism. Jim Crow. When they are so obviously wrong on this
point of morality its hard to get credibility on other points of morality.

Which brings me to the the news section of the paper. There are a number of
stories with a common thread: 1. Marijuana creeps onto public lands. 2. Coca
grows despite U.S. spraying. 3. Racial violence thrives in culture of
prison. The common thread here is that prohibition is not working.

How are we going to warn kids about heroin and cocaine when they know we are
lying about marijuana? A policy based on lies will lead to destruction. In
fact we know that the average age of first use of heroin is declining in
America.  The Dutch are doing much better. They have accepted that drugs
will be available and are countering the problem with truth.

Social breakdowns come from societies living a lie. The lie of apartheid.
The lie of prohibition. The lie of intolerance. Children don't like being
lied to. They are societies moral barometer. If we can't get the kids to
follow in our footsteps perhaps there is something wrong about where we are
planting our feet.

Michael Simon Rockford, Illinois
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